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Pension and Employee Benefits

Shipman & Goodwin’s Employee Benefits practice has earned a reputation for quality service that attracts a diverse and sophisticated clientele that includes public and private companies, municipalities and nonprofit entities.

The employee benefits arena is governed by ERISA, the Internal Revenue Code, and a host of complex regulations and rulings released by various federal agencies. In this environment, creating and effectively maintaining benefit plans and programs can be a challenging task for any employer. Our employee benefits attorneys interpret and apply these laws to help our clients develop a benefit structure tailored to their needs.

We work actively with employers to design, draft and assist in the ongoing administration of 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, traditional defined benefit, cash balance and money purchase pension plans, tax-sheltered 403(b) annuity plans, employee bonus plans and severance plans. Our attorneys advise on tax law requirements (including correction of operational errors in plan administration through IRS correction programs) and ERISA fiduciary and investment implications. We also have extensive experience counseling employers with respect to the treatment of benefit plans in corporate transactions.

In addition, our attorneys advise employers on issues relating to health and welfare plans, including insured and self-insured medical plans, "VEBA" and "OPEB" trusts, cafeteria plans, wellness programs and incentives, flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs), and high deductible/health savings account (HSA) arrangements—including tax and ERISA implications and compliance with COBRA and HIPAA rules.

We also counsel companies that provide services in the employee benefits industry, such as third-party administrators, prototype sponsors, trustees and other fiduciaries.


Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures
Acquisition of Specialty Finance Company by Texas-based Family Office
Stable Value Fund Chapter 11 Case
Drafting of Section 457 Plan Documents
Pension and Employee Benefits Counsel for Fortune 100 Health Insurer
Connecticut-Based International Technology Research Company
Fortune 1000 Manufacturer
Submission of Correction of 401(k) Operational Issues to IRS
Amendment of Traditional Defined Benefit Plan
ERISA Counsel to Bank's Pension Plan, 401(k) Plan, Section 125 Plan, and SERP Counsel
Beneficiary Dispute Negotiations of IRA Settlement
Municipalities and Boards of Education
Merging of Pension Plan into 401(K) and Converting onto Fidelity Platform
School Superintendents Pension Counsel
Employee Benefits Counsel to Connecticut-Based Health Care System
Represented Connecticut-Based Hedge Fund with Respect to Changing 401(K) Plan Vendors
Represent Clients with Respect to Self-Correction and Voluntary Compliance Program (VCP) Filings with the IRS
Retiree Medical Account Plan Counsel
Employment Agreements
Representation of CEOs and Other Senior Executives
Company 401(k), Stock Option and Bonus Plan Counsel
Represent Private Schools in connection with 403(b) Retirement Plans
Represented Companies with Respect to ERISA Due Diligence
Advise Plan Administration Committee and Plan Sponsor Regarding Disputes and Pension Claim Benefits
Represented Manufacturer with Respect to Pension Plan's Lump Sum Window Amendment
Legal Counsel to 401(K) Committee Regarding Plan Administration and other ERISA Fiduciary Issues
Represented Companies with Respect to New Vendor's Prototype Plan and Investment Fund Platform
Pension and Employee Benefits Counsel to Connecticut-Chartered Bank


February 1, 2018  A Strategy for Maintaining the Tax Efficiency of Charitable Contributions In 2018
Quarterly Newsletter  Employment Law Letter
2017  A Poet's Guide to Employee Benefits Law
December 12, 2016  Guide for 401(k) and 403(b) Plan Administrators
Spring 2015  Employment Law Letter - Spring 2015
July 7, 2014  Employer Stock in 401(k) Plans: A New Landscape after Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer
May 21, 2014  New Model COBRA Notices Issued by Department of Labor
April 24, 2014  United States Supreme Court Rules that Severance Payments are Subject to FICA Tax
February 11, 2014  Taking Full Advantage of Roth Savings
January 9, 2014  A Continuing Look at Same-Sex Spousal Benefits After U.S. v. Windsor
December 18, 2013  Thinking Through the IRS's New Carryover Rule for Health Flexible Spending Accounts
November 7, 2013  Obamacare: The Big Picture
September 4, 2013  Employee Notice About Health Insurance Marketplaces Due By October 1
July 12, 2013  The Impact of the Supreme Court's DOMA Decision on Employee Benefit Plans
May 10, 2013  An Update on 401(k) Plan Investment Issues, and Revenue Sharing in Particular
February 8, 2013  Early Planning and Action on Health Care Reform
July 12, 2012  Supreme Court Decision On Health Care Reform - What It Means For Employers
May 23, 2012  Department of Labor Issues Final ERISA Fee Disclosure Rules
August 11, 2011  New IRS Compliance Check Project to Target Higher Education Organizations and their 403(b) Plans
March 16, 2011  The Department of Justice Will No Longer Defend the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA")
May 5, 2010  IRS Allows Employers the Option to Offer Health Coverage To Adult Children in 2010
April 26, 2010  Health Care Reform: What Employers Need to Know Now
February 26, 2010  Employers Must Provide Notice of Health Care Premium Assistance Under CHIPRA
January 22, 2010  New Model COBRA Notices Issued by Department of Labor
January 7, 2010  New Law Extends and Expands COBRA Premium Assistance Program
October 16, 2009  Reminder to Execute 403(b) Plan Documents Before IRS Deadline of December 31, 2009
October 7, 2009  IRS Issues Guidance Relating To Waiver of 2009 Required Minimum Distributions
September 15, 2009  ERISA Case Update
September 10, 2009  IRS Revises “Special Tax Notice” for Participants Receiving Eligible Rollover Distributions
February 27, 2009  COBRA Premium Assistance Program Requires Immediate Action By Employers
January 29, 2009  Waiver of Required Minimum Distributions for 2009
Winter 2009  Employment Law Letter
December 19, 2008  IRS Extends Deadline for 403(b) Written Plan Document
December 18, 2008  Health, Welfare and Fringe Benefits Limits 2007 - 2009
December 17, 2008  Retirement Plan Limitations 2007 - 2009
October 14, 2008  Executive Voluntary Departure Checklist
Fall 2008  Employment Law Letter
August 7, 2008  Second Circuit Holds That Cash Balance Plans Are Not Age Discriminatory
Summer 2008  Employment Law Letter
May 8, 2008  ERISA Case Update
Spring 2008  Employment Law Letter
April 2008  New IRS Regulations for 403(b) Plans Raise Tax-Sheltered Annuity Compliance to New Heights
February 20, 2008  401(k) Plans - Supreme Court Decision
October 30, 2007  Employee Benefits Update - Section 409A Deferred Compensation: Good Faith Compliance, Transition Opportunities and Preparation for Full Compliance
Summer 2006  Employment Law Letter
June 12, 2006  Proposed Regulations on Dependent Care Expenses
Spring 2006  Employment Law Letter
Winter 2006  Employment Law Letter
January 6, 2006  An Overview of the Fiduciary Responsibility Provisions of ERISA
October 4, 2005  Impact of Connecticut's New Civil Union Law on Employee Benefits
May 20, 2005  More Flexible Use-it-or-Lose-it Rule for FSAs
May 20, 2005  Client Alert: More Flexible Use-it-or-Lose-it Rule for FSAs
May 1, 2005  An Act Concerning Civil Unions
March 9, 2005  The Automatic Rollover Rules: A Practical Primer
March 3, 2005  The Automatic Rollover Rules:
February 4, 2005  New Restrictions on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation:
February 4, 2005  New Restrictions on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation: The Effect of the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004
Fall 2004  Employment Law Letter
Spring 2004  Federal Fair Labor Standards Act
Summer 2004  Employment Law Letter
Spring 2004  Employment Law Letter
Winter 2004  Employment Law Letter


June 15, 2017  CLE Event: Webinar: 401(k) Plans: Best Practices for Employers and Plan Administrators
February 22, 2017  Webinar: The Essential Guide for 401(k) and 403(b) Plan Administrators for Colleges and Universities
February 15, 2017  Webinar: The Essential Guide for 401(k) and 403(b) Plan Administrators for Independent Schools
June 25, 2013  NASPP Regional Chapter Meeting - Dressing for the Public, Do you have the Right Accessories?
May 23, 2013  The Affordable Care Act: What Do We Do Now?
May 22, 2013  Current & Emerging Topics in Executive Compensation
March 26, 2012  Global Equity Training Series
October 13, 2011  Your Company Retirement Plan Must Meet New Disclosure Requirements in 2012
November 1, 2010  2010 Tax 360 Conference: Federal Tax Legislative Update
July 27, 2010  2010 NASPP Regional Conference
April 13, 2010  New 2009 Requirements Regarding IRS Form 5500 and ERISA Audits Applicable to 403(b) Retirement Plans
October 8, 2009  Avoiding Compliance Pitfalls: Getting Your Defined Contribution Plan in Shape
July 14, 2009  2009 NASPP Regional Conference
June 16, 2009  CSCPA Financial Planning & Investment Conference
February 6, 2009  403(b): Beyond The Plan Document
January 9, 2009  Changes in Health and Section 125 Cafeteria Plan Benefits- What You Need to Know Now
June 13, 2008  2008 Northeast Area Benefits Conference - New York, NY
June 12, 2008  2008 Northeast Area Benefits Conference
November 15, 2007  Section 409A Deferred Compensation Seminar
November 8, 2007  Section 409A Deferred Compensation Seminar
March 2, 2007  Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006 Workshop
January 26, 2006  Roth 401(k)s in 2006 -- After the Regulations -- Is Now the Time?
November 2, 2005  Impact of New Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Rules
October 26, 2005  What's the Difference Between Public and Private Plans
October 20, 2005  High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA): A Practical Overview for Employers
March 24, 2005  New Tax Rule Affects Compensation Practices
March 24, 2005  Recent Developments in Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
October 28, 2004  Automatic Rollovers of Mandatory Distributions and Military Leave Update
October 7, 2004  "Issues in Terminating or Changing Retirees' Health Benefits"
March 5, 2004  457 Plans: New Information You Need to Know
July 26, 2001  New Proposed Rules for Minimum Required Distributions
June 2001  Cafeteria Plan and Flexible Spending Account (HSA) Basics
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